The latest version of the Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) 6.4.6 introduces new features and improvements. The newly introduced Fontwork feature, allows you to create the well known graphical text art objects inside Collabora Online. The feature can be accessed via the Insert tab, both on the NotebookBar and in the classic UI. The Fontart Gallery allows you to choose from a set of different text art objects, each of which can be customized via the Sidebar. It is now also possible to define gutter margins. And of course there is more!
Use the latest features now – and do give your feedback
CODE gives you the latest and greatest features in online collaboration earlier than the supported version Collabora Online. Of course, we would love to hear about your experiences. Please leave your feedback on CODE in the community forum or report any possible issues on GitHub.
How to use the attractive Fontwork objects
Working with Fontwork in Collabora Online is very straightforward. After choosing a Fontwork object from the gallery, double-click the object to update the text. When selected, the colour, transparency, and the orientation of the graphical text can be adjusted through the Sidebar. The new Fontwork panel makes it easy to work with the characters’ height, or change the alignment and the character spacing. If you are using Collabora Online via your mobile phone’s browser you will benefit from the mobile-friendly interface, as shown in these images.
The main colour of the Fontwork object is defined by the Area colour, similar as to when working with Shapes. You can also choose from different types of fills (e.g. colour, gradient, bitmap, pattern) and set the transparency. Secondary or tertiary colours of Fontwork can be defined through the Line or Shadow colour.
Easier and better page formatting in Writer with Gutter Margins
Writer now features improved support for gutter margins. This is often requested for government documentation and really popular among our users in Asian countries.
Mind that this new feature is not yet available in the Writer on desktop. You can test it on desktop though, with the unstable snapshot of our supported Collabora Office version. And the work is of course also committed for the next LibreOffice release.
How to use the new gutter margins
This margin type can be specified explicitly, and it is also possible to select whether the gutter should be located on the left or at the top. The feature works with mirrored margins as well and is very useful for printed publications. To utilize this feature, access the Page Style dialog through the Layout tab. In the Page dialog you will find a new Gutter option below the Margin settings. On the right-hand side there is a drop-down menu that lets you choose the Gutter position (left or top). The small page icon in the dialog renders a preview of the margin size.
Microsoft Word also includes a gutter margin option, so this feature is also an interoperability improvement. When importing or exporting documents, this feature is now supported with DOCX, DOC, ODP, and RTF formats. While the feature has been primarily developed for Collabora Online, it is also available in the desktop version. If you are interested in more, and technical, details of this implementation, please take a look at the blog by developer Miklos Vajna.
New configuration option for integrators
Collabora Online now does support the FileUrl property of WOPI. This is a URI to the file location that the WOPI client uses to get the file and can be used to get the file instead of a GetFile request. FileUrl brings better performance in some configurations and has been implemented in cooperation with partners.
CODE is the Collabora Online Development Edition. It contains the latest developments and is perfect for home users. It enables them to regain control of their own online documents and to host them themselves in a secure and private environment. For tech-enthusiasts, it is a low-threshold way to get involved and familiar with our online office solution. CODE will be improved continuously and our next supported and maintained Collabora Online product will be built from it. All of our code is Open Source, and a vibrant community in participating in growing Collabora Online. Would you like to be part of the story? Join the community!
It is a good tradition at the end of the year to reflect on what we have achieved as a team and together with our partners and the community, and remember with gratitude all the hard work that so many have put in.
Of course, this year was marked by the worldwide Corona pandemic. Early during the outbreak, we had published a statement on how far Covid-19 affected our work. Even though our structure – most of our team works remotely from the home office – meant that we were much less affected by difficulties than other companies, we too have friends, colleagues and relatives whose health were affected and also have kids we had to homeschool this year. Nevertheless, this has not affected our customer’s support, and there has been a significant up-tick in interest from people who want to collaborate on their documents without surrendering their data.
Despite all challenges, 2020 has been a very productive year at Collabora. We released important major releases for all our products – Collabora Online actually even saw two major releases, and Collabora Office arrived on Android and Chrome OS. Although conferences have only been possible online since March, we could present ourselves and our work quite well there. By moving to GitHub, a lot of fresh air and many dedicated people got in touch with Collabora Online.
Here is a summary of what we achieved together!
Collabora Online – two major releases, many improvements
The year 2020 saw two major releases of Collabora Online introducing handy new features and substantial UI and UX improvements.
Collabora Online 4.2 brings the feature rich Sidebar
In March, we introduced the Sidebar to Collabora Online 4.2. The versatile Sidebar hosts many of the most used features and provides a much improved user experience for the PC browser.
A version packed with new features
With Collabora Online 4.2 we also introduced an enhanced Colour picker with Conditional Formatting and the Function Wizard in Calc. We also added rich copy/paste, made working with images and tables much more easy and added the possibility to configure the Table of Contents. Find all the details in the Collabora 4.2 announcement.
Exciting 4.2 updates throughout the year
Many updates followed throughout the year:
April: brought improved PDF handling and support of Asian date formats in Calc in version 4.2.2.
May: Support for dropdown lists in form fields in ODT & DOCX and other text file formats and the handling of tabstops directly on the ruler in version 4.2.3
June: Multiple slide selection on slide pane, handling of tab stops, improved word count on phones and many other features arrive in version 4.2.4
Find all the exciting details in the Collabora Online 4.2 release notes!
Collabora Online 4.2.9: New options in comment threads
Collabora Online 4.2.12: Edit Chart titles from the Sidebar
Collabora Online 6.4 introduces the NotebookBar
In November, we released Collabora Online 6.4. This version introduces the (optional) new NotebookBar with its well-organized tabs and the possibility to collapse it to save space.
Collapse the NotebookBar for more space
This version also included leap in version numbering. This aligned with our desktop version and now reflects more accurately the level of development, since much of the technology is shared by both products.
Collabora Online 6.4 added many new features like the possibility to freeze panes in Calc, many interoperability improvements like, transparent text (in both Impress and Writer) and gradient backgrounds and better SmartArt import in Impress. Find all the details in our announcement.
Collabora Office sees a new major release and powerful updates
In August 2020, we released Collabora Office 6.4. Our business-hardened and long term supported LibreOffice derivative brought a number of practical improvements to the workflow on desktops.
Security, encryption, PDF – new features on the Desktop
Naturally we had back-ported many of the new features to our supported Collabora Office 6.2 release as updates.
Padded Numbering was one of the results of this year’s hack week at Collabora and premiered in Collabora Office 6.2-9. Later this year it became part of Collabora Office 6.4 and LibreOffice.
In July, introducing the possibility to send encrypted PDF with Mail Merge, we added a privacy option to Collabora Office 6.2.-21. This also became available in Collabora Office 6.4 and LibreOffice.
Security features and PDF handling are focus topics. The option of adding visible digital signatures to PDF arrived in Collabora Office 6.4 in August.
This is the first time a fully function mobile office suite based on LibreOffice technology became available for Android. We have documented the long road to this point and the many supporters involved in the Collabora Office for Android and iOS credits.
An attractive layout & rich in features
Thanks to the success of our mobile apps, we have expanded the LibreOffice user base by half a million mobile installations, as can be read in our annual LibreOffice infographic.
Version 6.4 – Another major release for mobile devices
The work on our mobile apps had its climax in the release of Collabora Office 6.4 for Android & iOS in November, which brought new features (e.g. gradient backgrounds, transparent text) from Collabora Online to mobile devices and introduced the NotebookBar to tablets.
The release of CODE 6.4 also marked the beginning of our initiative to lower the barriers to join the project. A few weeks later we announced moving the source code of Online to GitHub making it easier for interested people to get involved, and tackling some of the intriguing community marketing problems we faced.
The community rocks
This year we invested a lot of time, effort and passion to make Collabora Online & CODE a more accessible and fun project to work on. We created a forum for users to find support, many easy hacks and assigned developer Muhammed Kara as a community mentor, helping people getting on board. Why are we doing all this? Read about it in our FAQ!
Regular round-ups and calls
Part of our efforts to grow a vital, transparent and welcoming community are Muhammet’s regular Community Round-ups published on our blog, as well as weekly community calls on Jitsi. We really appreciate all the new contributions we saw coming in this year from so many people, checkout their names & credits in the round-ups.
An engaged team of translators
Want to get involved in another way than contributing code? Join the engaged community of translators over on hosted Weblate to make Collabora Online available in more languages. Thank you to the dedicated team of translators.
2020 has been an excellent year to close new partnerships. We now have can rely on over 200 partners from more than 50 countries, we help each other to promote FLOSS, privacy & digital sovereign solutions and re-invest the proceeds into creating great new software. Find a Collabora partner in a special field or area… or why not become a partner yourself!
CollaboraOffice.com available in 8 languages
This year, we dedicated a lot of effort to make our website and information about our product available to even more people. At this point collaboraoffice.com is available in English , German , Spanish , French , Traditional Chinese , Italian , Portuguese and Turkish . And we have only just begun…
Updated LibreOffice growth infographic 2020
We also updated our popular LibreOffice growth infographic. With some impressive numbers… Over 200M active LibreOffice users, over 50M pulls from the CODE Docker image, 500K installs of the Collabora Office mobile apps, and over 16K code commits from the whole community to LibreOffice. Have a look at the numbers!
Collabora sponsored an impactful four-day LibreOffice development workshop during the Free Software Winter Camp at Anadolu University in Turkey. We wrote an article about the impressive results. Two participants of the workshop later went on to work GSoC projects for the LibreOffice project.
In summary, it has been a busy year here at Collabora Productivity. This overview only sums up a small part of the great things we have been working on alongside the community. We have advanced our mission to make open-source rock; giving users privacy and businesses control over their data. We not only produced excellent results, but also had a good time working on these things – despite the challenging conditions that 2020 offered. If you’d like to get involved its easy to partner with us, buy from us, or get involved in the growing Collabora Online community. We have lots of plans in the pipeline for 2021 and hope there will be more possibilities to meet in person on conferences and on events. We would like to thank the whole team, particularly our great partners, and customers who make our work possible, and the community of developers and users who make it fun. We look forward to continuing the successful work with you in 2021! Have a very Happy Christmas & a peaceful New Year.
Collabora, a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community, is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the cloud. Initial development started back in 2011 and four years later, in 2015, CODE (Collabora Online Development Edition) was created, allowing people to check out LibreOffice in the cloud for the very first time. Shortly after this, the first production-ready Collabora Online was released.
We encourage people to contribute. While Collabora has done more than 95% of code commits so far, we are glad that since the move of collaboraonline to github more people are getting involved. Maybe you can join too?
Three full days dedicated to LibreOffice technology
The LibreOffice Conference 2020, this year also known as oSLO 2020, took place from 15 to 17 October 2020 as a joint online event with openSUSE. The number of participants at the online conference was roughly the same as at an on-site event. A total of over 320 participants had registered on the conference platform. Individual talks were attended by up to 150 people simultaneously. The LibreOffice community in Latin America had organized an additional track in Spanish and Portuguese. Our team contributed 16 talks (find the complete list here). Enjoy some recorded recordings, download the slides and feel free to ask further questions in our forum.
Collabora & the LibreOffice Ecosystem
Some much-acclaimed topics were the lectures by Michael Meeks, which highlighted the exciting and long-standing history of LibreOffice, and those that dealt with the relationship between profit-oriented companies and the voluntary community—and pointed out possible perspectives.
This year’s talks on Collabora Online had a strong focus on improving the user experience. Ashod Nakashian talked about the challenges of integrating Sidebars into Online, while Szymon Kłos explained the path to the NotebookBar, the new optional user interface. Tomaž Vajngerl showed the great new features for PDF files. Pedro Silva held a presentation on visual consistency, user experience, as well as possibilities for customization. He also showed how to join the project. Slides of his talk are also available in Portuguese (as part of the Latin-American Track). Muhammet Kara‘s presentation highlighted the new one-click option, that makes installing Collabora Online by home users much easier.
LibreOffice & Collabora Office
These talks dealt with new functions added to LibreOffice by the Collabora team. This includes the extensive work with the SKIA graphics library, presented by Luboš Luňák, and the digital signing of files in PDF and OOXML, showcased by Miklos Vanja. Collabora Office is now also available on Chrome OS. Jan Holesovsky outlined what it took to port the Android app to Chromebooks.
Collabora Office on Android & iOS
Our mobile apps are a lot of attention. Their huge success recently added 500K users to the LibreOffice user base. Szymon Kłos presented technical details how the LibreOffice Sidebar get re-used on phones. Tor Lillqvist focused, on the latest developments for Collabora Office on iOS, while Jan Holesovsky presented the history of online and mobile.
Living on video?
Missed the conference? Would you like to watch or re-watch some talks? The sessions at the openSUSE & LibreOffice Conference have been recorded and are going to be published. We have a playlist collecting all the talks held by our developers. Find it here on YouTube. We are continuously adding the all published oSLO2020 talks there. In the meantime, please subscribe to our YouTube channel to not miss any updates from us.
New CODE release brings improved user experience and compatibility
Cambridge, United Kingdom, September 24, 2020 – Collabora Productivity is excited to announce a new, major release of our product CODE (Collabora Online Development Edition) 6.4.0 This release adds a new easier to use interface option with a notebook bar as well as excellent display of Microsoft file format documents. This release not only brings a fresh look, enhanced usability, improved interoperability, and extra functionality. It also marks a harmonization of our version numbering. CODE jumps from 4.2 to 6.4, to align with our other Collabora Office products: for the desktop and mobile devices. This release gives a showcase of our development on the next version of our supported product Collabora Online. CODE and Collabora Online offer privacy as well as the only truly open-source solution for working with and collaborating on rich documents in the cloud.
Attractive and easy to use NotebookBar option in Collabora Online
CODE 6.4 comes with a cool and modern NotebookBar providing another easy to use and pretty access to all rich features. The easily identifiable buttons allow users to quickly select functions and the thematic organization of the tabs is intuitive. Users are encouraged to test the NotebookBar when using CODE and share their experience! Users will of course recognize much of the NotebookBar from the desktop version.
Version 6.4 – A huge leap in user-friendliness… and numbering
The new CODE with the NotebookBar marks a big step forward in usability. The version number also makes a big leap with a jump from 4.2 to 6.4. The previous numbering of CODE and Collabora Online reflected the release cycles of our online products, first released in 2016. To simplify things we make the numbering similar to Collabora Office for the desktop. This more accurately reflects the level of development, since much of the technology is shared by both products. Our mobile apps Collabora Office for Android, ChromeOS and iOS will also catch up in numbering soon.
Saving space and other NotebookBar details
When the user needs to save space, a single click on the active tab will collapse the NotebookBar. All the tabs are still there to use.
On the top left of the NotebookBar, either in collapsed or full state, there is the hamburger menu with some important tools for e.g. collaboration and language.
How to keep the classic mode
The new NotebookBar is set as the default interface in this new release, however we have no plans to remove the classic menu and toolbar UX – some users and deployments clearly prefer it. To change this back you can select ‘classic’ for the user_interface key in loolwsd.xml, and some integrations will provide their own admin UI for this, to configure it for the whole server.
The new look of Writer, Impress and Calc
In CODE 6.4 the new NotebookBar adapts to the users needs. With each type of document all available features are nicely sorted into clear tabs. The following images are taken from Writer, Impress and Calc.
Quick access, flexible interface option
Our developers worked effortless to provide the user interface that is both feature rich, and also flexible and small… if the user needs that. The following images present some possibilities with text, presentations and data.
New Spreadsheet rendering: freeze rows and columns
Spreadsheet rendering has been re-written from scratch in CODE 6.4! It continues to improve rapidly, please be patient as we work on performance tuning here. One big new feature is that users can now freeze rows and columns with the button on the tab Sheet or the entry in the menu View. Then, when the users scrolls/moves down in the spreadsheet, the chosen rows and columns will stay visible on top and the left. This is similar to the feature that is available in the desktop version of Collabora Office under View > Freeze Rows.
Collaborating with annotations to PDF files
Collabora’s products already have many powerful features supporting the increasing use of PDF documents. CODE 6.4 allows users to collaborate around PDF documents by including a new feature to add annotations to PDF documents.
Various Collabora Online integrations let users open PDF files with Collabora Online, for example with a command in the file’s detail menu (More or simply …). After that, a comment can simply be added with Insert > Comment.
Collabora Online’s interoperability with Microsoft’s OOXML file formats, is as excellent as in our desktop product, since all share a large part of the underlying LibreOffice code base. This 6.4 release again adds dozens of improvements in Microsoft OOXML rendering for presentations, smart art, charts and more from the whole community. Some examples are given below:
Text can be set semi-transparent
A new feature in CODE 6.4 is the use of semi-transparent text, that can be set on the tab Font Effects. Therefore now semi-transparent text from OOXML files is shown.
Improved import of SmartArt
With the release of CODE 6.4 the import of SmartArt in MS Office documents has been further improved.
Gradient backgrounds in slides
The pitfalls of interoperability nowadays lie in small details. For example, colour gradients in the background of slides used to be lost with the import of Microsoft PPTX files. With version 6.4, this is now fixed.
CODE is the Collabora Online Development Edition. It contains the latest developments and is perfect for home users. It enables them to regain control of their own online documents and to host them themselves in a secure and private environment. For tech-enthusiasts, it is a low-threshold way to get involved and familiar with our online office solution. CODE will be improved continuously and our next supported and maintained Collabora Online product will be built from it.
Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release, and accounts for the overwhelming volume of contributions. However we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice technology, you can checkout LibreOffice community credits. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work. All of our code is Open Source, and our contributions to LibreOffice can be expected in the LibreOffice 7.1 release, although we have our own branding and theme. Would you like to be part of the story ? Participate today!